Marvel First Teased The MCU 15 Years Ago
As difficult as it may be to believe, it has been a full 15 years since Marvel first teased the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
On April 28, 2006, The Hollywood Reporter writer, Borys Kit, reported that Jon Favreau had been hired to direct Iron Man (2008).
In an archive newspaper clipping shared by The Hollywood Reporter Archives, Kit remarked that the project had attracted ‘an impressive roster of writers to help bring some of its high profile characters such as Captain America and Thor to the big screen’.
With Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) now being one of the most instantly recognisable movie characters of recent years, it feels quite bizarre to see Kit delve into Iron Man’s backstory, for those readers yet to be acquainted.
Kit went on to report that various other Marvel projects were in the works, including the sequel to Hulk (2003) – the film we would later know as The Incredible Hulk (2008) – and an adaptation of Ant Man.
The article details how Shaun of the Dead co-writer and director Edgar Wright would be directing and co-writing Ant Man with writing partner Joe Cornish. However, both Wright and Cornish ended up departed the movie – released in 2015 – on account of creative differences.
However, the pair were still given story and screenplay credit, and Wright is also credited as having cast Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Corey Stoll and Michael Douglas.
It was also noted that a Captain America movie was in the works (Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), adapted by David Self. However, Self did not receive credit in the movie, which was eventually written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The article goes on to announce an upcoming Nick Fury movie, penned by Andrew Marlow. Sadly, this film was never made. However, Samuel L. Jackson went on to play Fury in no fewer than 11 Marvel movies with his solo MCU project, the Disney+ show Secret Invasion, coming out next year.
Thor was also announced, as was screenwriter Mark Protosevich who told The Hollywood Reporter:
I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say the movie will take place in the world of myth and legend but will not betray some of the thematic elements of the comics that made them so appealing, like the idea of a god growing to truly understand man.
Kit remarked that all the writers and directors who had been brought onboard for the projects were ‘huge comic book fans’, with Favreau having read comics as a teenager.
Marvel chairman, Avi Arad, said:
Unless you buy into the gestalt of what is Marvel and understand the characters and metaphors and treat them as living people, we are not interested. This is material that has withstood the test of history, and the director and writers have to feel a sense responsibility.
Although the article certainly gives a sense of buzz and excitement, these early hints of the MCU give no sign whatsoever of the box office behemoth to come. If only they’d known…
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CreditsHollywood Reporter Archives/Twitter
Hollywood Reporter Archives/Twitter